Football magazine’s 2013 predictions bode well for Cougars


Recently I made the annual drive to Barnes & Noble to get my valued Phil Steele’s 2013 College Football Preview. The magazine provides in-depth coverage of each major college team in the country with some comparative details about the teams. Steele gives each team a numerical rating that indicates which team would be favored on a neutral field and by how many points. This numerical rating provides BYU fans with a quick glimpse as to how Steele sees the Cougars’ fortunes playing out this fall.

BYU fans will be pleased to hear that he rates only three of the Cougars’ opponents higher, and not surprisingly they are Texas, Notre Dame and Wisconsin. There are three opponents rated just below the Cougars, including Utah, Boise State and Georgia Tech. Those three games will all be played at LaVell Edwards Stadium, which is also a plus. Steele has rated BYU in seven of his nine “sets” to win more than the eight games the Cougars won last season.

BYU's Kyle Van Noy speaks with the media during the 2013 BYU Football Media Day.

BYU’s Kyle Van Noy speaks with the media during the 2013 BYU Football Media Day.

The magazine also lists Kyle Van Noy as a First Team All American and Cody Hoffman as a member of the Second Team. These two selections are quite a feather in BYU’s hat. Steele also rates the BYU receiving corps as No. 12 in the nation with the linebacking crew rated No. 17. The magazine even rates the Cougar defensive back unit as No. 30. When has that ever happened? The Cougars are coming off a great defensive year and a disappointing offensive year. It is hard to believe with all of the disappointment that the team was four plays away from a 12-1 season.

Another interesting tidbit in the BYU Cougars’ team spread in the magazine is the list of the top three quarterbacks in career passing yards, as well as the top three in rushing yards and receiving yards. It is amazing to see that of those nine players, four were on the 2008 team. Those four, Max Hall, Harvey Unga, Austin Collie and Dennis Pitta, would all have been together again on the 2009 team, but Collie left for the NFL. As it has been said, “You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.”

Ken Driggs of Mesa, Ariz., is a BYU graduate who served as Cosmo in the ’60s. Contact him at


  1. paul gilbert

    Thanks Ken Driggs. You always provide timely and interesting articles/information. Thanks to the Desert News for having the wisdom to print your material. Driggs is always a good read. Paul Gilbert

  2. Wookie

    Ken, how many plays went the way of the cougars last year? To say that they were 4 plays from being 12-1 is only one side of the coin. Otherwise you wrote a good article.

    Thank you

    Go UTES

  3. powhatanson

    There are five teams on BYU’s 2013 schedule that could realistically be in the top 15 this year. Six teams (Texas, USU, G.Tech, Boise State, Wisconsin and Notre Dame) are within a few “predictor” points of BYU and even on a bad year, the Utes can beat BYU, so those seven games could easily be won or lost on the last play. In addition, Virginia, Nevada, Houston, and Middle Tenn. are good teams that are more than capable of upsetting BYU. So unlike previous years, BYU will only have one easy game in 2013. Even if BYU was to go 12-0 this year, one thing is certain: there will be those that will claim that BYU’s schedule is soft, since their SOS will not be in the top 20 and ignore the fact that most BCS teams play a least 2 or 3 games that are basically guaranteed wins.

    • Naval Vet


      “In addition, Virginia, Nevada, Houston, and Middle Tenn. are good teams that are more than capable of upsetting BYU. So unlike previous years, BYU will only have one easy game in 2013.”

      Middle Tennessee is .150 vs. BCS teams in the BCS era. Any fan who fears the Blue Raiders is a fan who is tacitly acknowledging his/her school isn’t ready for the rigors of an elite BCS/Big Five conference membership. Even MTSU’s recent performances haven’t really blown anyone’s skirt up. Their overall record these past 5-yrs is barely .500, and .214 vs. BCS teams. If you really believe you have only one “easy game” for 2013, you wouldn’t be projecting a challenging schedule. You’d be projecting an extremely mediocre program that would best be described as…


      • Danny Haynie

        @Naval Vet,

        Well considering MTSU dominated GT 49-28 last, gives us Cougar Fans good reason to not overlook them. MTSU is one of those Chocolate Box teams, you never know which team will show up, so anything could happen.

      • powhatanson

        @Naval Vet
        1) Thank you to anyone that has served in the Armed Forces;
        2) You are wrong to assume I fear the Y playing MTSU (the expected spread would be 25 points if 2012 team strengths remain the same), maybe the Y’s second easiest game;
        3) The Y’s SOS is tougher than many BCS-AQ teams but you can only play teams that are willing to play against you, so hats off to the U, UT, BSU, USC, Wisconsin, ND, GT, Nebraska, Michigan, etc.
        4) Would it bother you to see BYU have a good season?
        5) If you’re going to diss someone’s SOS, how about Alabama (SOS=40) who plays two D2 teams this year?

      • powhatanson

        @Naval Vet
        – I am not afraid of MTSU upsetting BYU anymore than Michigan should worry about an Appalachian State or the Utes of a #156th ranked Colorado.
        – At least BYU is only playing one weak team as opposed to Alabama (SOS=40) who plays two 1-AA teams.
        – BYU can only play teams that are willing to play them.

  4. thebigsamoan

    Expectations rises with every glowing accolade. All’s left now is to prove on the field that we’re worthy of the hype. How sweet it will be if we can achieve and even exceed all that!

    Go Cougars!

  5. U90

    No doubt BYU has the potential to have a decent team in 2013, but we can’t let ridiculous statements slide like “BYU was 4 plays away from 12-1”. As already pointed out by Wookie, BYU had some plays go their way and some that went the other way… just like every other team in America.

    In the Utah game alone they would have needed at the very least 3 more plays to win; one to tie the game with a field goal, one to score in overtime and one to produce a turnover in overtime. What are the chances BYU could have pulled of those three consecutive plays…. slim to none. So lets stop the foolishness…. BYU lost 5 games and deserved to lose 5 games. Utah lost 7 games and deserved to lose all of them. Utah State deserved to lose all the games they lost just like every other team in America. Get real.

  6. Yeah Buddy!

    “anymore than Michigan should worry about an Appalachian State”

    Let’s not forget 2007 when #5 Michigan lost 34 to 32 to Appalachian state…..

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